Auto Care Tips

From Auto Electric of Minneapolis

How can I improve my gas mileage?

  • Avoid jackrabbit starts
  • Make sure you have the right amount of air pressure in your tires
  • Have leaky tires fixed ASAP
  • Change your air filter if it’s dirty
  • Get worn out spark plugs replaced
  • Use high-quality synthetic motor oils

My check engine light is on. Why? Should I care?

The federal government mandated all cars built from 1996-on have an On-Board Diagnostic System (OBDIII) installed. The OBDIII is a diagnostic system for your vehicle’s engine and emission systems. One of the OBDIII’s features is the “check engine” light, which can come on for at least 50 different reasons, some of which can be serious. Reasons the light can come on include anything that leaves you stranded on the side of the road to a loose gas cap.

The real problem, however, is you don’t know why the light is on. You don’t want to assume it’s something not serious, so get it checked out when the light comes on. If you decide having it checked out is no big deal, you’ll never know about future problems because the light is already on. In short, always get your vehicle checked out when the check engine light comes on.

How often should my car be brought in for routine work?

There is a recommended maintenance schedule for each manufacturer. At Auto Electric, we subscribe to a huge database that gives up-to-the-minute information on service for any vehicle. The subscription allows gives us alerts on trouble spots or recalls. Give us a call today and we’ll look up the schedule for your car and recommend service.

How often should I rotate my tires?

Most tire manufacturers recommend that you get your tires rotated at least every six months. Some say you should get your tires rotated at every oil change. If you look in your car’s owner’s manual, that should have the recommended time frame for tire rotation for your specific car.

When should I get my tires replaced?

There are a few things you can check visually to see if your tires need to be replaced. You should look for your tires’ tread wear bars. If these bars are even with your tire’s tread, then it’s time to replace the tires. You can also go out and buy a tread depth indicator. This is an inexpensive tool available at most auto parts stores. Finally, if you see any unusual bulges or bubbles in the sidewall of your tire, that’s another good sign that you need new tires.

When should I change my spark plugs?

There are a few signs you need new spark plugs, including an engine with a rough idle, trouble getting your car to start, a misfiring or surging engine, a higher-than-usual fuel consumption and a car that does not easily accelerate. If your car is displaying any of these symptoms, you should see if your spark plugs could be the problem.

How often should I change my oil?

There is probably no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best way to find out how often you should get your car’s oil changed is to read the owner’s manual.